A glorious day in Sunday’s London Marathon as Tracy Barlow’s magnificent third place finish in the elite UK race won her a richly deserved place in the GB team for August’s World Championships in London.
Andrew Mitchell reports:
Tracy led TVH’s 12-strong contingent again smashing her PB and own club record with a 2:30.42 finish that placed her 16th overall and behind only Aly Dixon and Charlotte Purdue in the UK women’s championship. http://www.englandathletics.org/england-athletics-news/england-athletics-marathon-championships-results
With three to qualify for the GB World Championships marathon team, it put Tracy right in line for selection and the news was confirmed on Wednesday. http://www.britishathletics.org.uk/media/news/2017-news-page/april-2017/26-04-2017-london-2017-marathon-and-50km-race-walk-team/
“The race itself an amazing experience being on the elite start,” said Tracy. “It was rather surreal lining up with all the big names on the start line. The support from the crowds was amazing as usual, but also from the club runners who were out there cheering. As they know who I am it was really nice having them cheering me on. It makes all the difference when the going gets tough.”
Tracy was on course to break 2:30 for much of the race, running her trademark metronomic splits well past the halfway mark. “I would have loved to have run sub 2.30 but I found it tough going in the second half,” she said “This is where it gets hard and you start to hurt. Running solo for much of that made it tougher but I just had to keep focusing on taking a mile at a time.” https://youtu.be/WjL9AFGZ7gQ
Sunday’s run is the latest peak in Tracy’s amazing progression over the last few years from good club runner to elite international athlete https://www.thamesvalleyharriers.com/tvh-athlete-spotlight-tracy-barlow/. As shown on her blog http://leftspikefanzine.com/tracybarlow/is now more than 80 minutes faster than her first attempt at the distance six years ago.
There were plenty more strong TVH performances under the cool, calm conditions. Among the ladies Victoria Carter was the next home in 3:26.53, landing another Guinness World Record this time for fastest marathon dressed as a nun! http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/ReligiousAboutRunning
Iris Clarke had a great first run in TVH colours to finish in 3:55.21, especially as her training was badly disrupted by an accident, while Andrea Broughton beat the 4 1/2 hour mark with 4:28.16.
In the men’s race Andrew Mitchell’s run of 2:41.08 beat his PB by three minutes, but he faded in home stretch to miss breaking 2.40 after overcooking his early pace.
Calum Nicol came within a whisker of breaking three hours in a highly creditable first marathon, looking really strong for the first 18 miles. After a recent fall Paul Woodgate fought hard to come home in 3:10.15, a shade outside his PB from last year.
It was great to see James Malcolm’s dedicated winter training pay off with a terrific 3:19.39 PB, and the same can be said of David Ford who also set a fine PB with 3:33.40.
David Franks showed early promise but found the last half hard going to finish in 3:46.26, Oliver Hopkins posted 3:37.53, Nick Michael beat 4 1/2 hours with 4:28.46 and Riz Rauf battled well to complete in 5:39.19.
Well done to one and all – and to each of the TVH spectators who came out to cheer.